I’m a proud gun owner and member of the NRA. I firmly believe in the 2nd Amendment and it’s intent to allow citizens to arm themselves against those that would do them harm including a tyrannical government. A man (or woman) cannot truly be free if he cannot defend his own life, those of his loved ones or protect his property. People cannot truly enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness if their government does not fear them or forgets from where that government derives its power.
So it is with great interest that I watch Congress and several states try to make us all safer by banning high capacity magazines, banning certain weapons and further clamping down on the free exchange of legal goods. I’m not going to focus on the specific stupidity of these measures. They are apparent to anyone with the ability to employ reason and logic. As if fifteen rounds will save lives as compared to twenty. As if banning weapons because they look like a military weapon instead of function like one accomplishes anything. As if criminals or the insane give a damn.
No, what I want to focus on is the politician that thinks passing these feel good measures will solve any problems. I want to focus on whether or not they even care. None of what the federal or various state governments are planning will do anything to stop gun violence. It is an insult to the people’s intelligence to say otherwise. I don’t care what side of the issue you’re on, you should be outraged.
Obviously, if you’re a gun owner and you subscribe to the idea that as a free person you have the right to bear arms, you don’t like any infringement on your rights that the Constitution says, “…shall not be infringed.” But what if you’re a gun banner? What if you’re a public safety, nanny-state zealot? Should you applauding these measures? The answer is a resounding no!
Why? Because a well practiced shooter can change a magazine in under five seconds while his victims cower on the floor. Because a rifle without a pistol grip or a folding stock can be just as dangerous as one with those features. Because those people that choose to use firearms to harm others don’t care what the law says. Politicians have failed to address the real problem, which is not the guns or the law-abiding citizens that own them.
And honestly, they can’t. You can offer all the mental health programs you want. You can toughen up gun crime sentences. Some people are going to break laws and go nuts. Some people are going to slip through the cracks. But taking away my freedoms, your freedoms, to make us all safer, a) doesn’t’ work and b) means were aren’t really free. Benjamin Franklin, a man I admire and respect greatly, said, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Wise words.
No matter what side of this debate you’re on, you should be offended by the posturing of politicians. They try to sell their feel good measures instead of actually doing anything to solve the problem. You will just as likely to be shot but some nut (and by the way, more people were murdered with guns in Chicago last year, a city with the strictest gun laws in the nation, that were killed by all the lunatics in mass shooting in the U.S. in the past three decades and probably longer) after these meaningless bans as before. We will never stop criminals and the mentally ill from using weapons to harm others if they are bent on doing it and anyone who says otherwise is ignorant, delusional or trying to get re-elected.
Or they know exactly what they’re doing and when these measures don’t work, they’ll insist that we just confiscate all firearms.